Day to Day => Towns & Villages => Topic started by: kyn on October 30, 2009, 22:19:02

Title: Westminster
Post by: kyn on October 30, 2009, 22:19:02
Title: Re: Westminser
Post by: seafordpete on October 31, 2009, 09:51:21
Don't remember a bridge but there was a gated foot crossing we used to use. Handy for putting your ear to the rail to listen for trains and squashing pennies. There were always hares in the fields on theSouth Side of the track marked Diggs on the map. pete
Title: Re: Westminser
Post by: derrydale on October 31, 2009, 10:34:00
Is my minds eye deceiving me or was the footbridge closer to Bluetown?
Title: Re: Westminser
Post by: seafordpete on October 31, 2009, 10:53:23
That was my thought too. Had a look on 1908 & 38 OS no bridges anywhere. One thinr I saw I have not seen mentioned was an isolation hospital on the Blue Town side of Westminster where New Rd meets the rail track. (1908 OS)
Title: Re: Westminser
Post by: derrydale on October 31, 2009, 17:32:22
Here is a silly question. kyn's map doesn't seem to show the road through Westminster carrying on towards Bluetown ..... Did it exist?
Title: Re: Westminser
Post by: kyn on October 31, 2009, 20:17:26
I have a picture of the bridge somewhere.  The road didn't used to carry on into Blue Town, when the batteries went up surrounding the town the only access into Blue Town was over the ravelin.
Title: Re: Westminser
Post by: Paul on November 01, 2009, 14:44:17
Trevs got some pics on his site :)
One taken from the bridge.

Ive got some on my PC but its in being "moded" so im on my laptop at the mo...
Title: Re: Westminster
Post by: Paul on November 02, 2009, 12:15:18
Got one :)

Title: Re: Westminster
Post by: derrydale on November 06, 2009, 17:25:25
That pic brings back a few memories ...... Queensway in the background!
Title: Re: Westminster
Post by: Paul on November 12, 2009, 13:18:03

Title: Re: Westminster
Post by: Ex-Chalky on November 18, 2009, 16:32:30
Some pictures of Cromwell Road, Westminster.

First one, my grandmother, Lillian Hurkett, around 1920, leaning on the window of 144 Cromwell Road.
Granfather was a foreman in the gasworks.

Second one, grandmother standing by the railway line fence, taken from the front door of 144 Cromwell Road, date unknown but pre-war, probably pre-1930.

Third one, grandfather Hubert, in the back garden tending his chickens, June 1955.

Fourth one, and this is the puzzle for you all to solve.
I think this is VE Day 1945.
Grandmother is front row, third from left.
Back row, second from right is her youngest daughter, Dulcie Hurkett.

Who are all the others?

The back of 144 Cromwell Road, the side facing the lappel, after the flood of 1953.   Note the damage to the wall.

And lastly, for the moment, a map of Westminster as it was in 1908.


Are there any former residents of Westminster out there?
Can anyone tell me of any memories of my grandparents....?
They lived there from about the start of the First World War till the late fifties.

Title: Re: Westminster
Post by: kyn on November 18, 2009, 19:41:53
What lovely pictures and the plan is interesting.  Didn't somebody ask about an isolation hospital around here?
Title: Re: Westminster
Post by: colin haggart on November 21, 2009, 20:18:11
My photos,


Some old bricks, maybe from a house that once was here.



Montague Road area.


From the book, Bygone Sheppey, by Martin Hawkins, I scaned this.

Title: Re: Westminster
Post by: Ex-Chalky on December 02, 2009, 10:16:05
Just to bring this back to the top, in the hope that someone might be able to add information regarding the group celebration photo on the first page...

But whil we are at it, I'll add this:

A porcelain commemorative mug given to all children in 1919.   This one was my mothers, lucky to have survived as she was only 7 when it was presented to her.


and a close up of the front:


and a close up of the inside:


The top edge is gold rimmed, and on the back there is another logo;


...and a close up of that logo:


Has anyone else got one of these mugs?   There cannot have many all that many of them, made.   Were they produced for other parts of Sheppey, or indeed the whole coumntry?

Does anyone know anything abolut the celebrations on 9th August 1919?

Title: Re: Westminster
Post by: patmreid on December 02, 2009, 18:31:30
Hi all, I'm new to the Forum so hope I am doing this right.

The bridge - is this the one around which all the equipment for the Boom Defence was stored in the 40s-50s?  I remember huge rusty metal buoys piled up like a canyon either side of the footpath. Or am I imagining it? 

Title: Re: Westminster
Post by: kyn on December 02, 2009, 18:52:02
Welcome along  :)

The bridge further up the line towards Sheerness has the remains of old bouys and things beside it.  Unfortunately my pics don't show them.  This is the bridge near New Road playing fields and in the second picture the remains are to the right of the track in the overgrown area.

Title: Re: Westminster
Post by: logicman on December 17, 2009, 21:02:56
I lived in Westminster about 1951 - 1952. There was no footbridge, just a level crossing near the gasometers. This led to a footpath which followed the curve of the railway wye junction to Sheerness-on-sea railway station area.  The footpath led into a field before the station. One end of the field was bounded by a wall with the C.W.S. wheatsheaf sign and the slogan: "Welcome to Sheerness - for good food dine at Co-op cafes - it pays to shop at the Co-op." In that area were many large horizontal canister buoys of the type used to moor ships in the channel.

There was a footbridge in the area of the wye junction, and another on the sea-wall footpath over the Queenbor
ough (Flushing) pier railway lines.  You can just about make out its location in Google Earth - as two marks on the sea-wall footpath adjacent to the stubs of the wooden piles of the pier.

Westminster was a marvelous place for a small lad to explore.  From Flushing pier's ruins to Sheerness Dockyard station and to the playing fields by Sheerness station - within that triangle I gained my love of steam railways and of their history.  In those days, nobody would question the right of a small child to explore the world on his own.  When I went into the gasworks there were no cries of alarm - no offers of crash-hat and goggles.  Just a kind-hearted man who explained to me how coal was turned into coke, and how the gas was made to light the lamps of Sheppey.  I am led to observe that the rise of dumbing-down correlates strongly with the rise in the number of elf 'n softy executives.
Title: Re: Westminster
Post by: kyn on December 24, 2009, 12:38:13
45 spent on a house in Westminster for use as a hospital on the 24th August 1878.
Title: Re: Westminster
Post by: seafordpete on December 24, 2009, 15:08:42
45 spent on a house in Westminster for use as a hospital on the 24th August 1878.

So is that the one I was asking about a few months back? An isolation Hospital?
Title: Re: Westminster
Post by: kyn on December 24, 2009, 18:11:49
I'm not sure, the plan above shows an isolation hospital beside the sewage works!
Title: Re: Westminster
Post by: logicman on December 26, 2009, 11:49:53
Seafordpete: there's a couple of related links, at the foot of this post.

The Medway/Swale area around Sheerness was once noted for infectious diseases.  At one time Sheppey was a major importer of coal, cholera and typhoid and an exporter of convicts, cholera and typhoid!

Given the close proximity of the sewage works at Westminster, the isolation hospital and the water wells near Sheerness Dockyard Station I am surprised at the comparatively low percentage of deaths from communicable diseases in Victorian times!

Apart from the fairly well known Dead Man's Island burial ground, and the isolation hospital by the gas works, there was a lazaret -
 an isolation facility - built but never used at Chetney Hill.

I hope these links will lead you to some useful/interesting related information:

Cholera and Typhoid Fever in Kent

The Lazaret on Chetney Hill

Good luck with further research. :)
Title: Re: Westminster
Post by: seafordpete on December 26, 2009, 12:47:19
Thanks, I was aware of that, it was just that a map on this board  showed an isolation hospital near the footbridge shown on the postings above and that I had never seen any reference to it. One of my aunts was isolated with scarlet fever about 1922 but she went to Keycol
Title: Re: Westminster
Post by: busyglen on April 16, 2010, 16:17:34
In case anyone is still interested in this thread, the original query about the bridge, was (as has been mentioned) the footbridge over the railway line that went from Bird Cage Walk across to the sea wall.  There was a bus stop there which people used to catch to go to school.  There was also another stairway that went down to the RN Sports Ground, which was where I lived as a child, up until the grounds were sold to the council in the late 1960's.

Regarding Westminster, I have a copy of the photo from the VE day Celebrations, together with another showing the children enjoying a meal.  They were mostly people from Westminster celebrating th
e event with a childrens party, and it took place at the Sheerness end of Cromwell Rd. 

If you would like any more information on Westminster and some of the photos they can be found on my website...the link is on the website links on this forum. 

(I hope this is in order to mention it, but as it relates to this thread I thought it might help).

Please delete if I am out of order.
Title: Re: Westminster
Post by: Spekes Bottom on October 27, 2013, 00:48:19
Can anyone tell me what year the houses on Cromwell Road were demolished?
Title: Re: Westminster
Post by: conan on October 27, 2013, 09:36:32
In Ex Chalky`s post of 2009 one of the photos seems to show a WW2 Anderson shelter

( (
Title: Re: Westminster
Post by: busyglen on October 27, 2013, 10:52:01
Can anyone tell me what year the houses on Cromwell Road were demolished?

They were demolished around 1973 which is when my sister and husband moved out.  Hope that helps.  :)
Title: Re: Westminster
Post by: Sentinel S4 on October 27, 2013, 14:51:16
This area is one of my places for a tachograph break. It has one of the best truck stop caravans in the county. The roads are in very good order and I for one can't understand why it has not been redeveloped. After all they have built a huge new complex outside of Queenborough.

Title: Re: Westminster
Post by: John38 on October 27, 2013, 14:53:13
The road led out of Blue Town and wound its way to Westminster, hugging the seawall as it went.

       Let me walk you along the route to Westminster, starting in Blue Town. The road I describe is a continuous one, we don't ever leave it.

       You came over the Moat Bridge into Blue Town from Sheerness and passed the Guard Room and armed sentry on your right, and the road to the Wellmarsh on your left.
       You followed straight on along the road (as it became the High St) all the way to the South Gate, with the dockyard wall  running all the way on your right,
        Here the road took an almost 90 deg turn to the left at the Magistrates Court.
       The railway lines emerged from the Dockyard (from Behind Massive Gates) just before you came to the entrance to the pier on your right and The Fountain Hotel on your left.
        The Pavement climbs up 12 steps and continues passed the pier entrance and then down 12 steps. To the right is a high blue brick wall to the left we can see down a side street where we see Saint Paul's Church and the Police Station.
        We climb 12 steps and are on a broad 'pavement' that is the top of the seawall. The road remains on our left following the seawall. Beyond the road, railings and the railway branch line.
       We follow the 'pavement' along the top of the seawall, with a small 2 foot high wall on our seaward side, the road tracks us closely.
       We pass the 'Shingles': where Blue Town sunbathed and swam. It was 100 yds of pebbles and the efflux from the Moat (we called it The Sluice). But to us .....Eldorado!
        To the left are acres and acres of buoys, torpedo nets etc, piled as neat as any Egyptian Pyramids - with a permanent gang of maties painting and tarring them.
        [Access to that area is via a railway crossing and halfway through the site it runs the main Railway line with a bridge similar to the one below over it at Bird Cage Walk].
        We continue along the seawall with the road still with us, but we lose the branch line from the Dockyard as it joins the main line to Queenborough.
        We climb 2 steps and then go down 2 steps , and the 2 foot high wall is now on our left, we are almost in Westminster.
        The road winds through Westminster and continues until it becomes the White Way, which ends up in Queenborough at Jubilee Cottages and the Social Club.
        The sea wall now navigates its way around the gas works. Suddenly we are walking on coal dust and not concrete.
        Along side us are London Barges offloading coal to be changed to coke. Here I saw what lee-boards were really for on barges.
        The smell is peculiar, full of sulphur, here parents bring kids with Scarlet Fever, the smell was supposed to cure them. (Lourdes in a Gas Works!).

         The Sheerness Marathon followed this route - from the Moat to Jubilee Cottages and on through Queenbrough and over the Arch to Queenborogh Corner. From there all the way to Halfway and then towards Sheerness, passing Sheerness East with the Maidstone & District Bus Depot to the right, over the Canal, passing the Town clock and on to the Moat!
Title: Re: Westminster
Post by: Desbrow on April 17, 2017, 02:34:58
As of April 2017 another remnant of Westminster is being removed: as reported in this week's Times Guardian, the gasometers are now being removed.
Title: Re: Westminster
Post by: Lutonman on April 18, 2017, 18:37:15
We can expect nearly all Gas Holders to be removed in the next few years, I understand that Deal may be one of the last ones as they are still needed. The ones on the island have not been in use for some years.
Title: Re: Westminster
Post by: HERB COLLECTOR on September 18, 2018, 18:11:22
The Westminster isolation hospital consisted of three buildings with accommodation for eight smallpox patients. In 1913 a report noted "The hospital is satisfactory but it has become impossible to disinfect it properly." Because of the hygiene problems it closed in 1915 and all Sheppey smallpox cases were treated at Sittingbourne. (Keycol?) (